Dangit, sorry this is so long. Feel free just to read the sections that pertain to you who I replied to... but I had a lot to say that I thought was important. :<
Well, is it out of true love that gay people want to marry, or is it simply infatuation? If it is infatuation, then the marriage is bond to fail so why let it happen? If it is true love, then all right let them have one shot at it.
First of all: why do you have to know if it's real love or not before you allow someone to marry?
How is that fair?
You're implying that we should pose restrictions on gay couples that would never be considered for heterosexual couples. Why? Simply because gay love is more likely to be infatuation than het love, and therefore it isn't as worthy for marriage as het love is, so gay couples should only be allowed to marry if it's real
Lots of het couples marry out of infatuation, too. Why do we let that
And second of all: who are you to judge whether it's real or not?
I'm sorry to gang up on you, Merv, but you really have to better explain your arguments. There's a million holes in those few statements right there.
(This is kind of a reply to what you guys are saying, sort of not, I'm just following my own train of thought) But yeah, on this topic I always feel the need to tread carefully... Because it's very sensitive and personal for a lot of people. I'm not intending to make much in the way of definite assertions here, but instead just put forward some ideas to think about.
First of all, I don't really believe that homosexual love is necessarily more often going to be just infatuation as opposed to true love. If non-infatuated driven relationships are rare, then it is because it's rare in very many romantic relationships. As a fine arts major, I know several homosexuals in my class. There's one guy in particular whose been with his partner for several years if I'm remembering right (can't remember how many exactly, but it seems like a lot to me, and indicative of a steady relationship). Two men/two women *can* be very close, I don't doubt it at all. So my question is – why does it have to be a sexual relationship? Two women can be partners in the world, same with men, every bit as close as a relationship between a man and a woman, without being lovers. I consider my sister my best friend in the world, and I would tell her things I wouldn't tell anyone else, and I feel much more comfortable going to strange places and meeting strange people if I have her with me. But I don't feel like we're any less close because of a lack of romantic/physical relationship going on in addition to what we already have.
The physical part of a relationship is, I believe, a superficial part of the relationship. Even between a man and a woman who are married, and truly love each other – that is, if they truly loved each other, and something happened and they couldn't have sex anymore for some reason, that shouldn't change their love for each other in the slightest. They can still be emotionally close without being sexual. Sex is a fulfillment of a natural instinct and a source of pleasure, and that's not a bad thing in and of itself, but the sexual part of a relationship isn't the most important thing. The difference between two sisters or two brothers who really care about each other, and a homosexual relationship where the two legitimately care about each other and it's not just the lust that often appears in romantic relationships, is that the homosexual relationship is physical.
The question then is, is the physical aspect of the relationship necessary to have complete fulfillment in the relationship? We know that a relationship based entirely on superficial infatuation is not all that solid of a base – infatuation does not value the other person for themselves, so much as for their looks, their body. It's based on a physical desire that will only last for that one particular person for so long. Therefore, though the relationship between two homosexuals may not be superficial, the physical desire part *is* a superficial part of the relationship to some extent.
Of course, I'm definitely not saying that's a reason to ban homosexual relationships, because then we'd have to ban all sexual relationships period, lol. (And our species would die off...) So I'm not arguing for or against allowing homosexuals to marry here... Just asking a simple question: why does the love between two people of the same gender have to be physical? Or, maybe I should phrase it from the opposite point of view too – Why shouldn't
it be physical, if heterosexual love can be physical?
It all depends on the species and the enviroment they have to breed in. It's not exactly easy to find a mate sometimes, but I'm sure if it were more animals would be polygamous.
Or maybe not. I'm not a biologist, but I know that whatever the reasons are that animals are programmed this way, animals are instinctive, not sentient, so all mating is natural.
Surprisingly, despite the reigning view that homosexuality is unnatural, I'm inclined to believe the opposite. I think it is, in fact, a natural inclination. I mean, it's kind of what like you were saying in your journal... (but I won't talk about that here, I can actually use myself as an example instead) So... when I was in grade school, I was really a tomboy, to the point where I actually wanted to be a boy. This was before I even knew what homosexuality was, or that there was even a word for such a thing, and I have a couple of distinct memories of saying I 'liked' a particular girl or other.
As I've gotten older, as an artist I like drawing both male and females and like the forms of both kinds of bodies (though not from a pornographic standpoint, please don't get that impression of me X3). I won't get into any more detail than that... but suffice it to say, I've always had a very strong impression that, if I allowed myself to go in that direction, I could quite easily become bisexual or homosexual. (I say 'become,' because I don't believe that differing sexualities are something innate that we are both with, rather it is an inclination that can be acted upon or not.)
So, what I'm going to say now is... Just because something is a natural inclination, does not necessarily mean it is something that should be acted upon and make a person happy. There are many, many examples of things that animals do that we as humans with the power of choice obviously shouldn't. A good example is violence – when two animals disagree, they may very well fight, while in our society, we expect that humans ought to have the self-control not to brain each other every time two guys are after the same girl or one steps on the other's ego or something. Another is looks – it's our natural inclination to judge other people by the way they look, to want to pursue people who look attractive and avoid people who aren't. As a first impression, judging on looks is unavoidable, but we know it's wrong to shun someone based entirely on how they look – yet that is often the first impulse. A man's natural inclination may be to sleep around with young beautiful women when he's away from his wife, despite the fact that he took a vow to only be hers, which hurts her tremendously, or even just to spend time looking at pornography on the internet. Our natures and natural inclinations can be very superficial, and not things we should necessarily act upon, even if they are there.
That's why I consider it worthwhile to take the effort to choose not to go down that road, I guess. I know it's good for people to learn to be themselves and follow their interests, but... I don't believe that giving in would really make me a happier person. I feel like I have the power to choose what I want to be, because I'm a human being.
So... just to be clear, I wouldn't consider these arguments against the practice of homosexuality itself. I guess I'm just intending to point out the flaws in the assumptions that some of the pro-homosexuality arguments have – 1. That the sexual aspect of a homosexual love-relationship is a given and 2. That because something is natural, it should be acted upon.
Rocket, just curious but are you a Christian? Because you nailed that part of Christianity.
Thanks! (: Yes, I am, sorry if I seemed ambiguous about it. But yeah... I don't always come out and say so (or put it in my bios and such), because I admit I have something of an inferiority complex about it. It doesn't even have anything to do with being ashamed of it, or being laughed at, or not considered intellectual because of it, it's just that the name of 'Christian' just has such a heavy weight of responsibility in my mind. (Some people who claim the name of Christianity and then blatantly don't follow the teachings, the type of people who make hateful remarks and whatnot or don't set a good example in other ways, really hurt the cause of what Christianity is supposed to be about. And I'm so afraid of being one of those people, so it makes me far more timid than I should be. ): )
I was a Christian, Rocket. I guess I sort of am, to a point.
I understand the conversion bit, but that's actually one of my main reasons for being a skeptic. If God really does love us, every one of us, why would we go to hell just because we don't believe in him? That's sort of harsh.
(I've been thinking about religion and questioning it in my spare time for the past week, and I still can't put my views in words? *rolls eyes at self*)
(Sorry, I'm continuing on with the off-topicness, because it's just so interesting, and faith is a big part of the whole issue of homosexuality and what people believe)
Yeah, I've struggled with this for a long time myself. Especially when I was in high school, and going through my sort of 'altruistic phase' (really struggled with what I thought on homosexuality too, since I hate to impose on other people, and really just want everyone to be allowed to pursue their own happiness), and just wanted everyone to get along and be treated/treat others well. In fact, one part of me has always wanted everyone to just be saved at the end and go to heaven, for everyone to just automatically be shown mercy.
I mean, I can't give you a definite answer, because like I said, I'm still grappling with these ideas. But for the most part, I've come to a new understanding on the topic:
One thing I've noticed in today's society – people want to be merciful. They want to give criminals a second chance – except that that changes when the criminal did something to wrong them. If some guy tortured, raped, and murdered someone's college-aged daughter, it's easy for some judge to say, 'I want to show mercy and not give him the death penalty' or only give him thirty years or whatever, or post bail to allow him to go home and possibly make a run for it before the trial, but in most cases the parents aren't going to want mercy. Even if they aren't going for the death penalty, they are going to want some justice of some kind, and it's their right. People in general think things measures seem harsh against criminals when it has been someone else who has been wronged, but when it's their fence that's been graffitied or their hard-earned money that's been stolen, they want strict punishment for the perpetrator, they want justice. (This isn't always true of course, just a general natural inclination of most)
Everyone in the world is a sinner, with evil – even though that's a strong term that we don't like to apply to ourselves – in their hearts, and has wronged someone else, caused someone else pain, and most of all wronged God. God cares about every person in the world, which is why He can't just let everyone do whatever they want and get off free at the end. Because of His character, He is not responsible only for being merciful, but for showing justice as well. Let's put it this way: let's say a king of a country was called to judge a certain situation in which a man had stolen from an innocent person, or murdered them, or some other crime where someone was wronged. Would the act of a righteous ruler who loved his people be to essentially punish the innocent person by letting the criminal go free, without any consequence? This, of course, is where the well-known story of Jesus Christ comes in – Jesus came to this world to act as the ultimate sacrifice, to bear the punishment of all the sin that, because of God's sense of righteous justice, had to be paid for by someone. However, we are still given a choice of whether to accept that gift of mercy or reject it.
These ideas of justice and mercy aren't easy things to accept, I know. And I've been thinking about these things for years and still don't know quite how to express them, so don't worry, you're not alone, lol. (Spirituality is a very complicated thing...) But I know there have been many things I would prefer not to believe that I know to be the truth; the truth isn't always an easy thing.
Btw, this is a bit random, but right here at the end there's just one thing I want to mention about the concept of 'Hell' that I've been talking about with my dad off and on for a while now – We all have the image of the eternal flame pit, I know, where everyone who doesn't accept Jesus Christ's mercy goes when they die... I'm not a preacher, so definitely don't take my word for this, but my dad was talking about some interesting aspects of this. In the Bible, if I understood right, nowhere is it actually said that when unsaved sinners dies, they go to a fire pit to be tormented for eternity. There is only a line (or a few lines) about how the devil and his angels are cast into the lake of fire, where they will be tortured forever and ever, while in reference to humans, it only says they will suffer 'eternal punishment,' and if you think about it, those aren't the same thing. Death, or the end of everything could be considered 'eternal punishment.' So it could be that unsaved souls will be destroyed, rather than thrown into a permanent Hell as such.
I would prefer to think that actually, but of course I guess no one will know until they die. (I guess ultimately it would better not to take chances either way) But anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there. There are actually a lot of traditions about things in Christianity that are unfounded and probably misconceptions. (Such as, I think, the belief that Jesus was crucified on Friday... It never says He was crucified on Friday, but nowadays it's always assumed. But that's another topic unto itself, lol.)
*hey levina, looks like I'm really earning that 'long-winded' title of yours. ;P